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good all round PC that's good for music production

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good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby tonyo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:05 pm

Hi
My first post here.... I'm looking to buy a new PC but would like one that's good for basic music production. I've read how new PCs have at least part SSD memory, which seems to speed things up.
If there's already a thread on something like this, sorry. Please point me in the right direction.
Oh yes, and budget is around £1,000 tops
Thanks :thumbup:
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby garrettendi » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:20 pm

Welcome to the forums!

I'm sure others might disagree with me, but you can get a decent studio PC with just moderate specs. Mine is only 6GB RAM, an old dual core CPU and two mechanical hard drives. Having said that, it was a freebie...

If you do want the very best though, I would prioritise more RAM and an SSD drive for things like samples.
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby tonyo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:27 pm

thanks garrettendi!
I don't know whether I need the 'very best', but (naturally) I'd like the best that's available now for my money. SSD seems to be the way to go in general.
My future son-in-law is a budding music producer and he bought a gaming PC as the spec needed for that is similar to what his music ambitions need....
I want to get a reasonably sophisticated production programme (cubase?... that's another topic?) which might dictate what my PC might need
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby garrettendi » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:37 pm

No worries! I would hold off on buying anything until the others chime in! I'm the resident newbie for studios here... despite my post count!
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Jack Ruston » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:40 pm

Talk to Scan

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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:57 pm

There is some crossover between the qualities you need in a gaming PC and in a music production workstation but they're not exactly the same -- in particular, gaming PCs usually have high-spec graphics cards which are expensive and run very hot, thus requiring noisy cooling fans. Music software is not typically very graphics intensive so doesn't require a fancy GPU, but it is usually desirable for the machine to run as quietly as possible for obvious reasons.
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Dave B » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:57 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:Talk to Scan

+1. Scan not only do excellent machines, but also offer good support. They can advise you what you can get for your money and how best to use it - they deal with musicians all the time, and at every level (right to the top).
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:59 pm

... and another happy Scan user here...
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:16 pm

And me too though parts not PCs as I have always bought used machines, Macs for the last few years (but that's just personal preference).

WRT DAWs, Reaper will allow you to up your PC budget by £200-300 compared to a Cubase Licence :D
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby resistorman » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:27 pm

I've traditionally built my own machines which not only was a lot of fun but it saved me money, especially over Macs! However, the cost factor for building isn't a consideration anymore and building from scratch without support is definitely not for everyone. I will echo the others that buying new from a company like Scan in the UK or Sweetwater in the US is a wise thing to do. I will add that it would really be a good idea to get the Windows 10 Pro version instead of Home and set the updates as far away as possible unless you don't have it on the net. Home users are beta testers, and you don't want that on a production machine. I know this from bitter experience.

That said, buying a decent refurbished machine can get you a lot of bang for the buck if you don't mind getting your hands dirty and configuring things. Most interfaces and software work very well out of the box and have good support. 16 gigs of ram and an SSD will fly.
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:52 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:... and another happy Scan user here...

Me too, and I used to write about music PCs for a living and built plenty of my own! ;)


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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby tonyo » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:49 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. I didn't know about Scan, they look great.

What advice would you give in relation to software? Is Cubase the most obvious option?
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:42 pm

The only advice I can give on software is to download a few demo versions and see what works for you. All the main DAWs will do all the usual stuff, some have certain advantages over others (a good collection of plug-ins maybe, or good midi implementation, or good live usage as well, for example) but it all varies.
Somewhere on here there's a 'what DAW do you use thread' where people discuss their choices and the various pros and cons. Worth giving that a read and seeing if there's anything there that stands out.

[EDIT - here you go: https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... se#p565256 but there are a few similar threads if you do a similar search]
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Dave B » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:46 pm

It's hard to recommend software as a) they are all pretty much fully featured and b) it's down to what floats your boat really. A long time ago, Cubase was top dog for many years. Then studios all went Pro Tools. Nowadays, there's a lot of Logic as well and if you on the PC there are others that are just as good (Cakewalk was free recently and that's great). If you do stuff non-linearly, then there is Ableton and Bitwig.

Platform is a factor - you can't run Logic on a PC or Cakewalk on a Mac. Reaper, Cubase, Nuendo, Pro Tools, Ableton - all run on both.

Have a look at the features you really need and then match them up with the various DAWs. If you really want top notch score capability then Reaper may not suite. If you want a ton of midi editing then Pro Tools may be less friendly then Cubase. etc. etc. Some DAWs have trial versions - Reaper runs for free (or used to).

Also, think about if you need to pay for an all singing version of something. You might only need a cut-down version of the software so check out the various features and decide if there's stuff you can live without - it might save you a fair amount.

If you have questions, we are always here...
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Moroccomoose » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:54 pm

Another happy Scan user here too! - I got custom configured i7, 16GB ram and SSD for around £700 a couple of years ago. It shows no signs of being outdated.

As far as software is concerned, I wouldn't get too hung up on which one... essentially they all do the same with slight variations in work flow.

Cubase is 'an' option among many and it is very nice. There are cheaper equally capable programs... and more expensive ones.


Band Labs Cakewalk is free. Reaper has a free trial, Harrison Mixbus is far cheaper than full cubase.


I'd imagine they all do a trial version in one way or another... try them and see which one feels best for you.


If you need to buy an interface, they often come with lite versions of programs so you may not even need to buy one.


Either way, plenty people will tell you one is better than another... its not true, they all have thier strengths and weaknesses.


I'd start with free or cheap and once you get the hang of how they work, decide if a more hefty purchase is necessary.


Most importantly, learn the one you chose very well and it shouldn't dissapoint.


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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Zukan » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:02 pm

The headaches of self builds did me in.

Speak to Peter Kaine at Scan and he will sort you our. I got my pc from them and Pete kindly sorted everything out for me and at a very competitive price.
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby ef37a » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:40 pm

Re DAW software. You are going to need an Audio Interface and most come with a "lite" vesion of a DAW and Cubase A1 is one of the most common (NI, Steinberg, Tascam)

The cut down DAW is nonetheless very useful and is certainly powerful enough to "learn on". If or when you find you need the full fat version there will be an upgrade discount.

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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby tonyo » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:46 pm

thanks for the extra info everyone.
Are Scan computers ok for everyday stuff as well, like emails, watching Little Feat clips on Youtube, etc ?
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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:11 pm

tonyo wrote:thanks for the extra info everyone.
Are Scan computers ok for everyday stuff as well, like emails, watching Little Feat clips on Youtube, etc ?

Yes, of course - they are good all-round PCs that have been specially tweaked for music use, but they can still do most everything else :thumbup:


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Re: good all round PC that's good for music production

Postby ef37a » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:48 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
tonyo wrote:thanks for the extra info everyone.
Are Scan computers ok for everyday stuff as well, like emails, watching Little Feat clips on Youtube, etc ?

Yes, of course - they are good all-round PCs that have been specially tweaked for music use, but they can still do most everything else :thumbup:


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